The forge as a customer club

Can a vendor deliver what amounts to editorial coverage as part of a sales job and still serve the guys and gals in the corporate boiler room working on code?

Even after open source companies began insisting on having their own "forge" sites, programmers were the target market.

(Groundwork was a sponsor of the Linux Picn*x in 2007, where this picture was taken. Good times.)

Sites like Appcelerator.com, which I covered last year, offered extensive "atta boys" to developers, letting them put their credibility up-front before  their peers, encouraging contributions of knowledge and code.

Forge sites have continued to evolve, and the new site of Groundwork is a good example of the new trend.

Monitoringforge still welcomes developers, but it aims to be more. Specifically it aims to be a customer's club.

To quote from the press release:

MonitoringForge is designed to appeal to IT administrators who want to compare and understand the differences between various open source monitoring tools and plugins available today, facilitating the selection of open source monitoring software over proprietary offerings.

Note that they are not just inviting current customers to the site, managers and administrators. They are also inviting prospects, promising to build a community for all those interested in the niche they serve.

That means more than offering Groundwork software and seeking tweaks and tips. It also means what amounts to editorial coverage of other monitoring packages -- Nagios, NeDi, and WMI are all on its front page.

Can a vendor deliver what amounts to editorial coverage as part of a sales job and still serve the guys and gals in the corporate boiler room working on code?